Molly’s Game (2017)
R | 2h 20min | Biography, Drama | 25 December 2017 (USA)
Synopsis: MOLLY’S GAME is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.
Award buzz: Jessica Chastain Best Actress, Idris Elba Best Supporting Actor, Best Picture
Review: Molly Bloom is one of those people whose story is better than any Hollywood could create. Her rise and fall in the Olympic world alone would be great movie fodder. What happened after that though is fantastic. Even if you read her best selling book you need to see MOLLY’S GAME which tells “the rest of the story”.
Molly (Jessica Chastain) has a brilliant mind and a tenacity for winning. When she decides to host poker nights with some of the worlds most elite, powerful, and famous people you can bet it is going to be the best game in town. She plays by the rules and to her it is strictly business. But the FBI see things differently and soon she finds herself in the hands of the FBI. Out of money and a business she turns to attorney Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) to help defend her case.
There is a lot about this film that is entertaining and riveting. Though many of her high profile clients have fake names in the movie (including player X) it doesn’t take much to figure out who some are. The story balances both the legal battle as well as Molly’s games. Many will like the courtroom content but fans of Poker and the intrigue behind secret meetings will love the high stakes portion of the plot.
Chastain is perfect in this role. She is focused and what at times comes across as coldness soon becomes apparent as a shrewd business mindset. Many would never be able to handle the money or rubbing shoulders with the people she does; without getting caught up in the glamour. Near the end when the hours and nature of the job start to wear on her Jessica captures the tension in her voice and body language. Elba is always a powerful presence and is fun to watch in this one.
The film is long but moves at a good pace due to the dramatic action and conversations. The amount of intriguing characters also helps pass the time. The movie made me want to read the book immediately. MOLLY’S GAME is rated R for language, drug content and some violence. It is an adult film in themes, content, and pacing. Nothing is crude or salacious and writer/director Aaron Sorkin knows exactly how to handle such content and make it above board. I give it 4 out of 5 big blinds. You will be all in with this one.